Matteson, McNeill tied at Viking Classic

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2011, 12:44 am

MADISON, Mississippi – For nearly four hours, Troy Matteson tried to figure out ways to kill time in the clubhouse as thunderstorms rolled across Annandale Golf Club.

He watched a little television. Swapped stories with other golfers. Counted the minutes as they slowly ticked off the clock.

Turns out it was worth the wait.

Matteson birdied his final three holes of the day after the lengthy delay, taking advantage of Annandale’s forgiving fairways and greens to share the Viking Classic lead with George McNeill.

Matteson finished his round but McNeill was on No. 18 when the final delay was called at about 6:30 p.m. local time due to lightning in the area. The day featured nearly six hours of delays as soaking thunderstorms rolled through central Mississippi on a steamy summer afternoon.

PGA Tour officials said Annandale has received more than four inches of rain since Monday.

That didn’t stop Matteson. The 31-year-old with two Tour victories was 12 under after firing his second straight 6-under 66.

“It’s kind of weird—I usually don’t play that well coming off a rain delay like that,” Matteson said. “Somehow the greens are standing up to the rain. They’re soft but they’re very smooth. These are some of the best Bermuda greens we play all season and they’ve stayed very consistent with their speed.”

McNeill, a 35-year-old who has one PGA Tour win, was 7 under through 17 holes and will resume play Saturday on the 18th fairway.

The start was delayed two hours after a heavy round of overnight thunderstorms dumped more than an inch of rain at Annandale. Play began just after 9 a.m., but another heavy round of storms hit the course at about 2 p.m., sending spectators scrambling and leaving puddles on the fairways.

Play started again 5:40 p.m., but about an hour later more lightning sent the players to the clubhouse for good. The second round resumes at 7 a.m. Saturday. Tour officials still hope to finish the tournament Sunday.

The Viking Classic was canceled in 2009 for the only time in its 45-year history after more than 20 inches of rain rendered the course unplayable.

Scores were low for the second straight day. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place balls in the fairway and the soft greens made for prime scoring conditions. The projected cut is at 3 under and 107 players had a score of par of better.

Matteson expects low scores to continue throughout the weekend.

“It’s perfect conditions for us,” he said. “This is what guys putt best on. This is kind of a putting contest with everything being so soft right now. Obviously, that could change if things firm up a little, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”

Blake Adams had the day’s best round with a 62, making nine birdies, one eagle and one bogey to vault from seven strokes back to just two behind McNeill and Matteson.

Kevin Kisner and 51-year-old Tom Pernice Jr. were tied one shot off the lead.

Tim Petrovic, Bobby Gates, Brendon De Jonge, Peter Lonard, Sunghoon Kang and John Mallinger started the second round in a tie for the lead after shooting an opening 65. Only Gates played his full second round Friday, shooting 3 under to fall two shots back.

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Reed match taught McIlroy the need to conserve energy

By Rex HoggardSeptember 26, 2018, 10:18 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – One of the most memorable Ryder Cup singles matches in recent history was also one of the most exhausting.

Rory McIlroy was asked on Wednesday at Le Golf National about his singles bout with Patrick Reed two years ago at Hazeltine National, when the duo combined for eight birdies and an eagle through eight frenzied holes.

“I could play it for nine holes, and then it suddenly hit me,” said McIlroy, who was 5 under through eight holes but played his final 10 holes in 2 over par. “The level sort of declined after that and sort of reached its crescendo on the eighth green, and the last 10 holes wasn't quite as good.”


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In retrospect McIlroy said the match, which he lost, 1 down, was educational and he realized that maintaining that level of emotion over 18 holes isn’t realistic.

“It looked tiring to have to play golf like that for three days,” he said. “I learnt a lot from that and learnt that it's good to get excited and it's good to have that, but at the same time, if I need and have to be called upon to play a late match on Sunday or whatever it is, I want to have all my energy in reserve so that I can give everything for 18 holes because I did hit a wall that back nine on Sunday, and it cost me.”

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U.S. team gives Tiger 'cold shoulder' after Tour Championship win

By Rex HoggardSeptember 26, 2018, 10:08 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Tiger Woods was one of the final members of Team USA to make it to the team room late Sunday in Atlanta after his travel plans were delayed by his victory at the Tour Championship.

As the team waited, captain Jim Furyk concocted a plan for Woods.

“I ran into Jim Furyk and he said, ‘We were thinking about giving Tiger the cold shoulder like they do in baseball when the guy hits his first home run.’ He asked, ‘Do you think Tiger will be OK with that?’” Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava told Ryder Cup Radio on Sirius/XM. “I was like, ‘Of course he would. He’s got a sense of humor.’”


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The U.S. team had plenty to cheer on Sunday with vice captain Steve Stricker also winning on the PGA Tour Champions. But it was Woods’ reception following his 80th PGA Tour victory and his first in five years that provided the best reaction.

“Tiger shows up about a half-hour later and is looking for some high-fives from everybody and they wouldn’t give him the time of day. They weren’t even looking at him, they all have their backs to him,” LaCava said. “He’s looking at me like what’s going on? He’s not a guy who is looking for fanfare, but these are his boys. He’s looking for 11 guys to run up and give him a good hug.”

LaCava said the team ignored Woods for about two minutes before breaking the silence with cheers and congratulations.

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How FedExCup has changed Ryder Cup prep

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 26, 2018, 8:56 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The improved play of the U.S. Ryder Cup team might be attributed to more than just youthful exuberance or camaraderie.

Phil Mickelson said the PGA Tour schedule is also a factor.

Mickelson argued this week that the advent of the FedExCup Playoffs, in 2007, has contributed to the Americans’ better results in the biennial matches. Save for the disastrous blowout in 2014 at Gleneagles, the Americans have either won or been locked in a tight match with the Europeans.

“I think the FedExCup is a big asset for us,” Mickelson said. “In the past, we’ve had six weeks off in between our last competition and the Ryder Cup. This year, although we might be tired, we might have had a long stretch, our games are much sharper because of our consistent play week-in and week-out heading into this event.”


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When presented with Mickelson’s theory, Justin Rose, the new FedExCup champion, countered by saying that the Europeans are the fresher team this week – and that could be more important during such a stressful event.

Seventeen of the 24 players here were in East Lake for the Tour Championship, meaning they not only played the minimum number of events for PGA Tour membership, but also played in at least three of the four playoff events.

Some of the European players, however, have remained loyal to their home tour and taken more time off. Henrik Stenson missed a few events to rest his ailing elbow. Sergio Garcia didn’t play for four weeks. And even Rose has adjusted his schedule during the latter part of the season, to make sure that he was as fresh as possible for the Ryder Cup. That meant skipping the pro-am in Boston and flying in on Thursday night, on the eve of the tournament, and reducing his number of practice rounds.

“It’s interesting,” Rose said. “They might feel like they are playing their way in and our guys are going to have a bit of gas in the tank. We’ll have to evaluate it on Sunday, but I’m hoping our strategy is going to be the one that pays off in the long run.”

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Rose hoping for FedEx/Ryder Cup party on Sunday

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 26, 2018, 8:41 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Justin Rose is hoping for the biggest party of all on Sunday night.

With the quick turnaround with the Ryder Cup, the newly crowned FedExCup champion hasn’t had much time to celebrate his season-long title that he earned Sunday at the Tour Championship.

“The FedExCup, for me, it finished on the plane,” Rose said Wednesday. “I enjoyed the plane ride over, but once I landed in Paris, I was one of 12 guys. I didn’t want it to carry over into this week. This week is about another job to do.”


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Rose said his Ryder Cup teammates have resorted to the usual tactics – “Apparently all the drinks are on my tab this week,” he joked – but just as Team USA may have used a boost with Tiger Woods winning, the Europeans can take confidence in having the FedExCup champion on their side.

As for any premature celebrations, Rose said: “I can shelve that for another week or so. I will certainly enjoy it. It’s kind of a season-long title that you really want to enjoy. But I’d like to maybe start that party on Sunday night and here for the right reasons, because of this week.”